Zero Debt for College Grads: From Student Loans to Financial Freedom

Overview

As the cost of a college education continues to increase at a rate of about 9% annually—nearly three times the rate of inflation—more and more college students are taking out loans to cover tuition, fees, and other expenses. Median undergraduate student loan debt is currently close to $20,000, and graduate students end up with an additional $32,000 in debt upon graduation. Pile on thousands more in credit card debt, and many college students today graduate with massive financial...

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Overview

As the cost of a college education continues to increase at a rate of about 9% annually—nearly three times the rate of inflation—more and more college students are taking out loans to cover tuition, fees, and other expenses. Median undergraduate student loan debt is currently close to $20,000, and graduate students end up with an additional $32,000 in debt upon graduation. Pile on thousands more in credit card debt, and many college students today graduate with massive financial burdens that they are not prepared to handle.

In Zero Debt for College Grads, noted personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani provides a thorough roadmap for stress-free living that will allow recent graduates to focus on their burgeoning careers while navigating the ups and downs of their financial responsibilities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781427754646
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynnette Khalfani, The Money Coach, is a personal finance expert and the author of The Money Coach’s Guide to Your First Million and the New York Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.

 

Lynnette is a former Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC, who has personally paid off more than $100,000 in credit card bills before becoming a self-made millionaire. Now she conducts workshops about credit, debt, and money management. She has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Redbook, Essence, and on Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Tyra Banks Show, The Rachael Ray Show, and Tavis Smiley.

 

To sign up for her free personal finance newsletter, please visit Lynnette’s website at http://www.TheMoneyCoach.net.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: The Student Loan Dilemma     vii
The Fallout from the Student Loan Crisis     viii
Lessons from Financially Liberated College Grads     ix
Myths vs. Facts about Student Loans     x
Is a College Education Worth the Price Tag?     xii
Why Current Students, College Grads, and Parents Need this Book     xiii
Manage Today's Bills Wisely
Personal Finance 101: Smart Rules About Budgeting, Credit, and Debt     1
Five Critical Money-Management Lessons You Didn't Learn in School     2
Common Budget-Wreckers     14
Create Your Own Budget     15
Stick to Your Budget     17
Boost Your Financial IQ     18
Cut Your Costs: Save on Housing, Transportation, Clothing, and More     21
Live Large on Small Change     21
Save on Housing     23
The True Price of Your Car     24
Save on Food and Household Items     27
Save on Utilities     29
A Wardrobe on a Budget     30
Affordable Entertainment     31
Make Sure You're Insured     32
Fatten Your Bank Account: How to Find or Create Extra Money     35
Squeeze Lots of Extra Money Out of Your Job     36
Turn YourHome or Apartment into a Goldmine     41
Cash in on Those Freebies You've Earned     45
Is "Free" Money in Your Future?     46
Borrowing for Emergencies     50
Pay Off Student Loans
Master Some Student Loan Basics: Understanding the ABC's of Your College Loans     55
Determine What Type of Loans You Have     56
Understand the Difference Between Federal and Private Loans     59
Figure Out How Much You Owe     61
Identify the Key Players in the Student Loan Business     63
Assess the Status of Your Student Loans     64
Pay Now: Smart Options to Drastically Reduce Those Student Loan Bills     69
Standard Loan Repayment Plans     71
Extended Repayment Option     72
Graduated Repayment Program     74
Income Contingent Repayment Plans     77
Play "Let's Make a Deal"     82
Negotiate Your Own Monthly Payment     83
Let Uncle Sam Help     86
Pay Off Private Loans     87
Other Pros and Cons of Private Loans     89
The Pros and Cons of Loan Consolidation: Should You Roll All Your Loans Into One?     91
Eligibility Rules and Other Requirements     92
Who Should Consolidate Student Loans - and Who Shouldn't     95
FAQs about Student Loan Consolidation     97
Pay Later: Savvy Ways to Put Off Making Payments     103
Are You Eligible for a Loan Deferment?     104
Fight for that Forbearance     109
Economic Hardship Cases - and Help from an Ombudsman     110
Clean Up Defaulted Student Loans: How to Bring Overdue Accounts Current     113
Student Loans and Your Credit Report     115
Wage Garnishments     117
Who's in Default and Why?     124
What to Do and What Not to Say     126
Consolidate Your Loans     127
Loan Rehabilitation Programs     130
Eliminate Student Loans with Loopholes: Qualify for Loan Cancellation or Get Others to Pay     135
Loan Cancellation Programs - Big Hassles, Even Bigger Payoffs     136
What to Do if Your Discharge Application Is Denied     142
Loan Forgiveness Programs and Loan Repayment Initiatives     145
Repayment Assistance Programs Nobody Told You About     151
Build Great Credit
Wipe Out Credit Card Debt: Free Yourself from America's #1 Financial Plague     163
Attack Your Area of Pain     163
Tips for Negotiating with Creditors     167
Call Your Creditors When You Face the "Dreaded Ds"     173
Understand Credit Reporting Laws     176
Consider Bankruptcy as a Last-Ditch Resort     177
Get a Fresh Start with Creditors - Without Bankruptcy     177
Establish Great Credit: The Three-Digit Number That's More Important Than Your GPA     183
Secrets to Boosting Your FICO Credit Score     183
How "Inquiries" and New Credit Applications Affect Your Credit Standing     192
Building a Credit Rating Without Taking on New Debts     193
Sneaky Tricks Some Credit Card Companies Play     198
Prevent Identity Theft from Ruining Your Credit     203
Credit Tips for Couples     205
Afterword     208
Acknowledgments     211
Zero Debt Checklist     212
Resources     217
Index     219
About the Author     224
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